For people interested in the beauty and rigor of mathematics, a mathematics degree might sound like an appealing course of study. But what will you be doing with a math degree once you graduate? It’s always a good idea to think about the many options that are available to you.
Getting a mathematics degree opens many doors to a variety of potential career paths that will allow you to combine your interest in mathematics with your livelihood.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, between 2019 and 2029, the demand for math students is projected to increase by a whopping 33 percent, meaning mathematicians are more in demand than ever.
At ENC, math students can choose between a B.A. or a B.S. degree. Course offerings include discrete mathematics, probability and statistics, and differential equations.
Regardless of your specific mathematical interests, a mathematics degree is sure to prepare you for a great future in a wide variety of possible fields.
Graduate Study and Professorship
For students who are especially interested in the abstract and theoretical aspects of mathematics, it might be worth considering going to grad school and eventually becoming a professor of mathematics.
This pathway allows you to focus on two exciting things:
1. You get to play a part in teaching and helping the next generation of math students.
Being a professor gives you the opportunity to impart your hard-learned knowledge to the students who are the most excited about and capable of studying mathematics.
Also, one of the benefits of being a teacher at a university is that some of the more mundane aspects of teaching, like grading papers, are taken care of by teaching assistants. This way you get to focus on your lectures and concepts: the fun stuff!
2. Being a professor also allows you to engage in high-level academic research.
You not only get the opportunity to work with mathematical concepts at the highest possible levels, but you also have a chance to create important innovations that make a difference in the wider world.
This pathway is best fitted to students who have a strong aptitude and love for mathematics, as acceptance into graduate programs and professorships can be challenging. Nevertheless, for some students, it is a perfect outgrowth of their love for math.
Another common career path for students with math degrees is to become a statistician. A statistician uses mathematical tools to analyze data, sifting through it to find insights and connections that are useful to people.
Fields like advertising and entertainment are perfect landing spots for statisticians because they accumulate so much data that needs to be analyzed and interpreted.
A good understanding of statistics can be a helpful background for work in other fields as well. A psychologist, economist, or biologist with a strong statistical background has a leg up on their peers in the workforce.
Statisticians also have the important job of clearly presenting their insights to the relevant decision makers. That means a statistician should be a good communicator and should be well versed in making visualizations from the data they use.
Actuaries work with another goal in mind: managing and measuring risk. Most actuaries work for insurance companies and assess financial risk so that they can price insurance policies appropriately, but other fields involving financial risk also need actuaries.
This line of work doesn’t just entail going over probability tables in a back room though. In fact, being an actuary can be a very fulfilling job with a lot of variety from day to day.
Some actuaries have jobs that are focused internally, whereas some work directly with clients. The former group focuses more on the detailed mathematical work while the latter is also responsible for communicating clearly the insights that can help their clients succeed.
Being an actuary is a good option for many students with a math degree, and the field has enough variety that there’s bound to be a position that fits you.
“I love the experience I’m getting through lectures and labs (at ENC). My professors are great and really care about students. I feel that I am being challenged and prepared to make a significant contribution in the world by applying my knowledge in the fields of mathematics and engineering.” – Josselyn Mata-Calidonio, Class of 2021
Middle or High School Teacher
Another option for a graduate with a math degree and a desire to help others is to teach at a middle or high school level. This provides a teaching opportunity for those who prefer the subjects taught at these levels to university-level subjects.
One benefit of being a math teacher in the middle to high school grade range is that there’s a wide variety of courses for you to teach. Classes at this level include:
Being a math teacher requires well-developed interpersonal skills. A teacher is responsible not only to communicate mathematical concepts clearly but also to take on the responsibility of managing a classroom.
Becoming a teacher generally requires some sort of certification, and the requirements change from state to state. Usually, you can get your certification in about a year or less, making teaching a good option for some math students.
A financial analyst studies economic data to find the best investment opportunities for their firm.
A financial analyst must examine both small-scale trends, like the performance of a company in which their firm might wish to invest. They’re often able to understand and anticipate larger-scale trends that affect the entire market.
At a more junior level, being an analyst generally entails being well versed in programs such as Microsoft Excel and being immersed in a lot of data.
Later, as a senior analyst, you often begin to take a step back and work on bigger-picture problems involving investment strategies and communication with other groups at the company.
Mathematics Degree at Eastern Nazarene College
With so many opportunities available for students who have graduated with a mathematics degree, math is a reliable direction of study for anyone with passion and grit.
At Eastern Nazarene College, our faith-based liberal arts background means that in addition to a strong mathematical foundation, you will also be focusing on building a relationship with God and relating mathematics to the beauty of His creation.
We want to do everything we can to make a place for you at ENC, and meet your intellectual as well as spiritual needs.
If you’re ready to learn more about Eastern Nazarene College, reach out to us with your questions today!